‘What’s Durex Mummy?’ Asks my 10 year old daughter as she sits next to me, while I’m doing some research for this blog post. ‘It’s a brand of condom.’
‘What’s a condom?’
‘Something that you use when you’re having sex to stop you getting pregnant.’ (Yes, I know they do more than this but I hadn’t been prepared for this conversation).
‘I thought the whole reason you had sex was to get pregnant.’
‘People have sex at other times because sex is fun’ pipes up my husband!
Yes, people do have sex for fun, to make babies and for lots of reasons. But what effect has being in a the midst of a global pandemic had on your sex life?
It may have had a good effect….your partner at home more often, spending more quality time together. However, if condom sales are to be believed our sex drive has possibly hidden in the bottom of your wardrobe along with your ‘going out’ outfit. If that is the case it is totally normal. COVID has generally caused people a great deal of anxiety so our bodies are in a constant state of ‘fight or flight’. Let’s face it when you’re trying to decide whether to fight the tiger or run from it, procreation is the last thing on your mind. When you are in ‘fight or flight’ mode you produce hormones called cortisol and adrenaline. These prevent you from producing oxytocin, affectionately known as the ‘love hormone’. For your body to produce oxytocin you need to feel safe and relaxed.
So where am I going with the above information. Well, as its valentines day on Sunday I thought I would share about some essential oils that are known to have an aphrodisiac effect. I don’t mean one whiff of Jasmine or Ylang Ylang and you’re going to be all ‘let’s get down and hump like bunnies’, but the oils can help lower your anxiety and boost your oxytocin levels.
So let’s talk about these magic oils.
Scent as an aphrodisiac is not a new thing, the Roman brides wore orange blossom crowns and the marital bed was strewn with rose petals to ease any wedding night nerves.
The most well-known of the aphrodisiac oils is Jasmine (Jasminium grandiflorum). This is one of my favourite oils it reminds me of holidays in Greece. It is also one of the most expensive oils and the most adulterated so be aware if you decide to buy some. So what does this oil do that is so amazing? Well to quote Lavabre (2020) ‘it should not be considered a mere sexual stimulant. Jasmine releases inhibition, liberates imagination and develops exhilarating playfulness’. Basically what that means is that chemically Jasmine oil is full of esters and alcohols that balance your emotions and calm your mind. Therefore suppressing your ‘fight or flight’ and enabling more oxytocin release.
Other oils with similar effects include Ylang Ylang (Cananga ordorata). It is known to be a tonic to both the male and female reproductive systems and has a calming effect on your central nervous system. Word of warning though it has a very ‘heady’ scent. So use sparingly otherwise ‘not tonight, I’ve got a headache’ maybe a reality!
Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) again uplifts and promotes a feeling of wellbeing and soothes tension. Have to say this is not one of my favourite smelling oils but it has so many benefits, I blend it with something floral or citrusy.
Rose (Rosa damascena) is another fabulous oil and what could be more synonymous with Valentines than rose? This is a beautiful oil that can help balance your emotions and relieve tension and anxiety. Beware like Jasmine, Rose essential oil is eye wateringly expensive. If you are not paying £40 per 2ml approx., be suspicious.
Patchouli (Pogestemon cablin), Sandalwood (Santalum album) and Ginger (Zingiber officinale) all have similar properties.
So do you see where I am going with this?
The oils can help relieve the stresses and anxiety that so many of us are feeling because of COVID-19.
So this Valentine’s Day or any day for that matter
Turn off the news, listen to your favourite music, imagine the holiday you are going on after lockdown, have a warm bubble bath, give your partner a massage, or even just yourself with your favourite body cream containing essential oils and boost that oxytocin.
Bath oil recipe
15ml bath oil or milk
4 drops Sandalwood
1 drop Jasmine
1 drop Ylang Ylang
20ml base oil
1 drops Ylang Ylang
2 drops Clary Sage
3 drops Patchouli
Please do not apply neat essential oils to your skin and definitely keep away from your genitals (unless you’re in the bath obviously!)
If any irritation occurs wash off immediately with water.
When buying oils for my clients and myself I will stick to the following companies as I know I can trust the quality of their oils, be aware there are plenty of less reputable providers out there.